The ever popular Jersey City Jazz Festival is back for a two-day celebration the weekend of June 4th and 5th in the Powerhouse Arts District. The free-to-the-public annual event will feature fourteen bands on two stages, food trucks, a full bar, and a VIP experience at the 107 Morgan Street lot in Jersey City. The event is produced by the Jersey City-based non-profit Riverview Jazz and presented by Exchange Place Alliance. The 2022 festival will coincide with another beloved annual event - Bike JC’s Ward Tour, Sunday, June 5th, which will culminate at this year’s jazz festival. There will also be an after-party jam session at Moore’s Place on Monticello Ave.
This year’s lineup features no shortage of talent among the fourteen diverse musical acts. Guitar aficionados will be in for a treat with an array of virtuosic performers including the world-renowned Julian Lage (6/5, 4pm), modern gypsy jazz artist Gonzalo Bergara (6/5, 2pm), flamenco master Andreas Arnold (6/4, 4pm), and the guitar-driven roots spiritual ensemble Walter Parks and the Unlawful Assembly (6/5, 1pm). Hard core jazz lovers will be thrilled with crowd favorite Winard Harper and Jeli Posse (6/4, 3pm), vocalist and WBGO on-air personality Lezlie Harrison (6/4, 1pm), and jazz piano maestro David Kikoski (6/4, 2pm). As is the annual Jersey City Jazz Fest tradition, both days will close out with dancing to salsa performances by two legendary percussionists - Little Johnny Rivero (6/4, 7pm) and Johnny Rodriguez and the Dream Team (6/5, 5pm). An eclectic set of dynamic groups round out the lineup. These include acclaimed vocalist Svetlana, presented by NJCU (6/4, 6pm), the bass-fronted Afro Cuban jazz power group Santi Debriano’s Arkestra Bembe (6/4, 5pm), the hot-blooded percussion and mighty brass sounds of Nation Beat (6/4, Noon), the New Orleans-based trad group Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses (6/5, 3pm), and the stylish Sounds of A & R (6/5, Noon). All performances will be alternating on the hour between the Bank of America and Exchange Place Alliance stages.
“We couldn’t be more excited about this year’s festival,” says Riverview Jazz director Bryan Beninghove. “This is going to be a real JC-vibe party. Fourteen killer bands, food, booze, and a pimped-out VIP tent - you really can’t beat it. I mean the talent is top-notch, and it’s a free event for the community - Thank you, thank you sponsors, donors, and partners!” The Jersey City Jazz Festival began in 2013 as a grassroots community concert and has blossomed into one of the region’s premiere cultural events. Beninghove points to the level of talent in the area as a main reason for the astounding growth of the festival. “We have some of the best players in the world here - and it’s not just one style of music or jazz, it’s everything! It is so important for the community to experience this level of excellence, because it is unique and special. Not everyone has access to great music and art, but we do here - and we want to celebrate it with a big, free party for the people.”
Admission to the two-day event is free-to-the-public, with a suggested donation of $10 per attendee. For information on purchasing VIP tickets, directions, parking, volunteering, or links to the artists, visit www.JerseyCityJazzFestival.com. For information on registering for the Bike JC Ward tour, visit BikeJC.Org. The presenting sponsor of the Jersey City Jazz Festival is Exchange Place Alliance and the Jazz Master sponsor is Bank of America. Other main sponsors and partners include NJ PBS, Jersey City Cultural Affairs, Hudson County Cultural Affairs, WBGO, Sawyer Smith Residential, Ketel One, Cort Furniture, and NJCU. See website for full list of community partners and sponsors.